Former President of the National Association of Katsina State Students, Comrade Nasiru Almustapha Danye Jibia has accused officers of the Nigerian Customs Service operating on Jibia road of making running business hard to the people of the area.
Speaking to newsmen in Katsina Saturday morning, Danye said business people in the town “facing hurdles after hurdles from Customs officers stationed on the road”
Danye, who is a businessman and youth leader in the area, lamented how businessmen from Jibia find it difficult to take goods from Katsina to Jibia town or to areas further due to a strict taxation enforce by the officers on the road.
“Any businessman taking his goods to Jibia from Katsina would tell you that he has to part with huge some of money because the Customs officers would unnecessarily, and shamelessly, ask for bribe before they allow you to pass with the goods.
” We don’t know if there has been a new law that bans doing business in our town because it’s a boarder town but even if there is a law, the people should have been informed”
When asked whether the goods being ferried were contraband, the youth leader said the officers don’t even check whether the goods are contraband or not “they tax goods base on vehicle carrying them. Some would be asked to part ways with money that will make it very difficult to attain profit even after selling all the goods”
According to him prices of goods like Maize, millet, wheat, Chaff, cement have know skyrocketed in the area because of the levy enforced by the Customs officers.
“The issue has become very scary. The local government council officials are aware of the happenings because we have notified them when it started but they’ve not done anything against the Customs officer” Danye lamented.
He appeals to the state and the federal governments to come to the people aid because business people in the area are already frustrated.
We only make sure the right thing is done*
Responding to the allegations made by the business people, the Katsina Command of the Nigeria Customs Service said it would be unfair for any businessman to accuse the service of enforcing levy on them.
The Comptroller of the command, Abdullahi Kirawa said the service only ensures that contraband goods are not imported into the country, stressing that the service nationwide doesn’t disturbe law abiding business people.
According to him, the men of the service are stationed on the roads and other areas to ensure bad “elements” among business people are caught and penalize.
“People of Jibia have the right to engage into any sort of legally accepted business venture and are allowed to go to anywhere in the country to do their business. We are here to support people and not discourage them. Recently, our men caught four trailers ferrying goods. Upon interception, they (drivers) said they were going to Jibia but investigation revealed that they were taking the goods to Maradi in Nigeri Republic.
” Our people stay there on the road to ensure that the right thing is done” Kirawa said